Great recipes for sweet cherries
1. In a sundae: Marinate pitted cherries in brandy for several hours, then spoon over vanilla ice cream.
2. In a salad: Toss pitted cherries with arugula or baby spinach, toasted chopped hazelnuts, and crumbled goat cheese. Dress with olive oil and raspberry vinegar.
3. In a quick "pudding": Fold orange zest, chopped pistachios, and vanilla into lightly sweetened mascarpone or ricotta. Top with chopped pitted cherries.
4. In pancakes: Stir a handful of quartered, pitted cherries and toasted sliced almonds into pancake batter. Serve with butter and powdered sugar.
5. In lemonade: Throw pitted cherries in a blender with fresh lemon juice and water (about 2 tablespoons lemon juice for every 1 cup water), plus sugar to taste. For frozen cherry lemonade, freeze the cherries and use crushed ice instead of water.
Buying: Sweet cherries are at their peak now through July. Choose firm, plump fruit with smooth, shiny, unblemished skin.
Cooking: An inexpensive cherry pitter will save time if you plan to cook with the fruit; Crate and Barrel (800/967-6696) sells one for $3.95. You can also halve cherries with a paring knife and remove the pit with the knife's tip.